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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Team Member Preview was last night, and even though it was a rehearsal, Horror Nights was pretty amazing.


One word..... FOG!

The streets are absolutely fantastic this year, the scare zones are back along with a "mini-house" located near Mel's, Hershel's Barn. They really increased the amount of fog machines in the entire park, not only that but the entire lagoon is misting up and covered in fog. There were points where you couldn't see two feet in front of you! The Walkers can get pretty big in numbers in some areas such as the Clear and Atlanta, but others it felt empty and lacking.


The houses were mind blowing in the amount of detail put into the sets. All of the houses pack a punch, each in their own way. Though some felt like they were not as populated as they should be, every house is a winner in my book. I won't give any spoilers but, if you have seen any episode of The Walking Dead Season 3, you will LOVE the Walking Dead house! Even if you haven't, the scares are great and the sets are phenomenal!



Here are a few photos I took, apologies for the poor quality. iPhone plus night lighting = bad.


Waiting to get in, a LOT of people showed up to the preview.



The amount of fog was overwhelming, you couldn't escape it.



This was one of the scare zones, the Clear.



Lighting was top-notch this year!



And here is the Arch in all of it's glory!




I HIGHLY recommend taking a trip to Horror Nights this year, just be careful though. This was the Preview and we just barely got all eight houses done by closing time. Plan smart, hit the back houses first and work your way to the front.

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Here's a few more photos from people who went to the team member preview last night...


The archway into hell!


The RV from Walking Dead.


45 min for Resident Evil.


Resident Evil at 30 min.


Anyone need to save?


Zombies in the Walking Dead scare zone.


Werewolf at 30 min.


Sexy dude in the scare zone!


Bill & Ted fight against pop culture!


Where would you head first?


15 min for Afterlife.

Edited by robbalvey
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Friday night was the "media night" for Halloween Horror Nights 23! Between this night and the preview we did last week, it really felt like Halloween is BACK! (Even if it's still September!) We were given a fantastic tour of HHN 23, a Q&A session with the creative directors of the event, and even a guest appearance by An American Werewolf in London director, John Landis!


If there is one thing I can say about Universal's Halloween Horror Nights is that they continue to prove they are top of their game when it comes to Halloween. With Universal being a movie studio at it's core, you would expect highly detailed "movie quality" sets from their team, and the absolutely deliver! Universal Studios Orlando is back to 8 mazes this year, and while we had our favorites (Werewolf, Cabin in the Woods, La Llorona) and least favorites (Afterlife), I will say that they ALL seemed consistent in high quality!


I will offer some word of advice to anyone attending the event this year... Halloween Horror Nights gets CRAZY BUSY! We strongly recommend doing the event with Express Passes or if you want the best possible experience from HHN, book yourself into an RIP tour! If you get Express Passes, getting to the park EARLY will allow you to get through a couple of mazes without long waits, and then as the night gets more crowded, you can go back and do those mazes again without having to wait.


Anyway, onto some photos & video!


Our Halloween Horror Nights media preview started with a REALLY cool "invite" sent to us by Universal! Check out the video below of us "unboxing" this freakishly awesome invitation!




Yup, we are here! It's official!


Through the gates and we are ready to scream!


They really rolled out the red carpet for us tonight!


Just in case you might have forgotten why we are here!


It wouldn't be a media event without feeding all of us!


More SCARY nachos EVAR!!!


Michael Aiello, Creative Director of Universal Orlando walks us through several of the mazes. Check out the video below for his take on each house.


Laura Wallace talks us through the Walking Dead scare zones. There are several this year and they cover Seasons 1, 2, and 3.


Yes! John Landis, director of movies such as Animal House, Three Amigos, and of course An American Werewolf in London was there and talked about the HHN maze version of his film.


John called Mike & Laura "Passionate geeks!" and he couldn't have meant that in a more complimentary way about the amount of detail they put into his maze. He was hilarious! "People don't see any of these details...they are too busy screaming!!!" he says to the creative team!


And BEST NEWS EVER!!! John Landis CONFIRMED the "Three Amigos Horror Maze" for HHN 24 in 2014!!! (Watch the video below if you don't believe us!)




Yay! We got put into group sex...I mean.... six! =)


And with this, we do HHN 23 in STYLE!!!


We first encountered some of the "Walking Dead" street atmosphere.


It was all very well lit and made for some great photos!


Ahh, one of the classic icons of HHN!


An American Werewolf in London was VERY popular! Near the start of the event it was already a 45 minute wait, and was up to 70 later on that night!


Yup, we are in London...


The puppet work on the werewolves was amazing!


Subway scenes and even the porno theater were included from the film! This maze was a huge WIN!


Resident Evil will be a huge hit especially with fans of the game.


Entrance area starts with a battle between the police and zombies.


The maze is complete with a "game save" and "pause" screen.


Cabin in the Woods was an incredible cool movie and the creative team put together an AWESOME maze!


Yup, they have two "cabin" mazes this year, but each one is VERY different!


The scenery was just unreal. It was almost "pretty" in that absolutely disgusting sense!


Some of the scenes were disorienting in gore!


Oh, yes, there will be clowns!


Alcohol plays a very important part of Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando...


...so of course we stopped by the perfect place to get a beer! =)


Back on the Walking Dead streets fans will recognize scenes from all three seasons.


No shortage of zombies and guts in the streets!


Dudes eating dudes....a pretty common sight in Orlando, to be honest. ;)


Walkers were all around...watch yourselves!


The barn, the RV, many of the core images from the show are all here.


Elissa loved the bunnies! =)




I gotta admit, while I do like some of the licensed IPs that Universal has been going after recently, I do actually miss the old "icons" they used to wrap the event around. Maybe one day these will come back in more than just a small cameo appearance.


Could Elissa be the next "queen of Halloween?" Creepy!


Most frightening thing we'll see all night! =) (Seriously a Barney maze would FREAK THE HELL out of me!!!)


La Llorona was a maze originally done at Universal Studios in Hollywood, and they brought most of it to Orlando.


It's a really unique maze that has a lot of "Mexican influence" from Los Angeles.


Personally, I really liked it. Any maze that murders children is a win! =)


And it also had a lot of "Jesus candles!"


While a couple of scenes from the Hollywood version were missing in Orlando, I felt the maze worked REALLY well!


I've been a HUGE fan of Evil Dead ever since the original movie in the 80s!


And the maze is just as gory as the new re-make of the film! Sam Raimi would be proud!



Some of the costumes from the Walking Dead maze...


Walking Dead actually starts outside, and I like mazes that have a cool facade leading into the house.


The maze is based on season three, so fans of this season don't miss this!


One of many things you'll recognize from the show.


The final compound room!


There are a lot of zombies at HHN this year, but other than shark movies and porn, can you think of something else you never get sick of?


Afterlife was the 3D maze this year. It was ok, but I kind of wish Universal would do like Knott's finally did and abandon the whole 3D thing. I dunno, bright colorful stuff just doen't ever seen "scary" to me. I felt like I should have had a can of silly string to spray through this whole maze! lol


WE WILL ROCK YOU!!! Even the worst Bill & Ted show is a ROCKIN' GOOD TIME and this year's show was pretty darn good! Lots of sexy chicks (and dudes), digs at Disney, and an ending that ROCKED THE HOUSE!!!!


NO CAMERAS!!! AT ALL!!! GRRR!!!!! =)

Since we aren't able to take THAT many pictures at Halloween Horror Nights, this ends our update. If you're a fan of Halloween you'll not want to miss another year of Horror Nights, and if you've never done the event before, you really should check it out. Universal's Halloween Horror Nights continues to get "best Halloween event" awards and it's easy to see why!


Huge thanks to our friends at Orlando Attractions Magazine for letting us use their maze walk-throughs! Check out their magazine at http://www.attractionsmagazine.com






Ahh, so THIS is what the 'gardens' part of Cypress Gardens looks like.


In case you get lost wandering through the gardens, just look for one of these signs!


Elissa uses her "big hose" to put out the fire!!!


So we decide to take one of those "Rides Short Cuts" back to the rides area.

Edited by ernierocker
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It sounds like Universal has really stepped their game up this year and has the event back to where it was a few years ago. Really looking forward to it this year! Did you get a chance to check out the Rock Horror Picture Show live show?


Pretty cool that they let you film inside of all of the houses, I assume that was a media only thing though right?

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How long is the Bill and Ted show? Is it best to see early or later, I'm going Thursday night and we have Express passes. Just trying to see the best time to fit in the show.

It's about 30 minutes. I do recommend getting there early, but it does seem like they are doing a LOT of shows. I most certainly wouldn't miss it, and if you have Express, I'd say hit up B&T earlier and then use your express passes for the mazes when the lines are much longer.

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I am so absolutely excited about this! I have wanted to go to HHN in Orlando for over 7 years and THIS YEAR IS FINALLY my turn! Everything I have been seeing looks absolutely fantastic! Thanks for the update!

I gotta say, La Llorona looks ok. I really liked what Hollywood did last year. I was disappointed to see they didn't bring the large props of La Llorana eating children lol. Those were so fantastic, I can't believe they made the decision to leave them out!

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I gotta say, La Llorona looks ok. I really liked what Hollywood did last year. I was disappointed to see they didn't bring the large props of La Llorana eating children lol. Those were so fantastic, I can't believe they made the decision to leave them out!


Yeah, I agree with you. We had heard from all of our SoCal friends how great La Llorona was and at the preview they talked about bringing it over and even adding some stuff. Then we found out they actually took out the best parts! Seemed a bit odd for sure.

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I was disappointed to see they didn't bring the large props of La Llorana eating children lol. Those were so fantastic, I can't believe they made the decision to leave them out!


Maybe La Llorana threatened to sue defamation of character. Hey, nobody likes to be labeled as a "child eater."

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How long is the Bill and Ted show? Is it best to see early or later, I'm going Thursday night and we have Express passes. Just trying to see the best time to fit in the show.

It's about 30 minutes. I do recommend getting there early, but it does seem like they are doing a LOT of shows. I most certainly wouldn't miss it, and if you have Express, I'd say hit up B&T earlier and then use your express passes for the mazes when the lines are much longer.


Ok, Thanks for the advice.

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I'm planning my tour strategy and have a question. Anyone know which of this year's houses line entrance begins in WoodyWoodpecker's Kidzone area but exits over between MIB and Simpsons? In the past, usually 1 of the 2 house entrances in the kid area exits by MIB while the other exits by the house line entrance. Thanks!

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